Orangutans, an Endangered species
In Malay, orang means “person” and utan (hutan) means “forest” which is literally translated as “person of the forest”.
The orangutan is found in Malaysian Borneo rainforests (Sarawak and Sabah, Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) and North Sumatra. It is one of the largest primates (males can reach 150 cm height, weigh up to 100kg).
Females usually giving birth to a single infant once every 7-8 years and reach sexual maturity at 12. They are fruit eaters and can live over 50 years old.
The IUCN has currently classified the Bornean orangutan as Endangered and the Sumatran orangutan as Critically Endangered.
This is mainly due to human activity such as conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and timber properties, mining, road and other types of constructions but fires caused by El Nino weather phenomena are also factors of destructions.
Besides, the illegal animal trade has been a significant factor in the decline of wild orangutan populations.
Today, there are an estimated 20-27 000 orangutan (comprising around 7000 in Sumatra) left in the wild compared to the estimates obtained between 2000 and 2003 that ranked between 45 000 and 69 000 Bornean orangutans.
For more information about all Threatened and Endangered species, have a look on the IUSN Red list website!
How you can help to avoid orangutans extinction? You can stop (or reduce) your consumption of palm oil that is present in many biscuits, chocolate bars, chocolate pastes, crips and many other consuming industrial products!
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
The Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, located approximatively 24km from Kuching (South of Sarawak State), was created in 1975 to rescue and care for wild animals which had been found injured in the forest, orphan or kept as pets.
The main objectives are to rehabilitate wild animals, especially orangutans, to educate them how to survive in the wild and release them; to conduct scientific research on wildlife and educate visitors about the importance of conservation.
So far, 1000 endangered mammals, birds and reptiles have been cared for and dozens of semi-wild orangutans are in the rehabilitation programme.
This is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of this fascinating primates!
Matang Wildlife Center
The Matang Wildlife Centre is part of the beautiful Kubah National Park. It is a house for newly rescued orangutans (adults and adolescents remaining in the Semenggoh Centre) and for other endangered wild animals. The main attraction is the orang utan education programme. As well as orang utans, the centre includes spacious enclosures housing sambar deer, crocodiles, sun bears, civets, bear cats and many other animals.